If you are a fan of National Geographic or you just appreciate the world in which we live, desk globes are an excellent way to decorate your office. They are designed with a purpose and allow people to improve their geographical knowledge, but you don’t have to be interested in traveling the world or working in an industry where geography is important to want one of these on your desk.
Some of us haven’t seen a globe since our school days when they were largely used to teach where places were but also longitude and latitude. Whether you want to explore the globe from the comfort of your desk, plan your next trip, or just enjoy the beautiful cartography on show, a globe is an excellent way to spruce up your office.
Choosing a Desk Globe
Though most people will turn to Google Earth, globes are an awesome item of a bygone era and are making a comeback! However, if you think there isn’t much of a choice to be made when it comes to globes, you’d be wrong. There are many different options in the world of globes (pun intended). Globes with incandescent bulbs, globes with smart bulbs, globes that would make the perfect desk lamp and so on! To help you, we’ve listed a few things below that you should consider when making your purchase.
Design. Some globes have the traditional blue/block color design to signify land and water, and beyond that, the only real design feature is the font used for the writing. However, many other designs are available and if you actually have a surprising amount of choice here. Some designs look archaic and are designed to resemble parchment paper. Some designs are gray scaled, some even feature photo-realistic depictions as if taken from a satellite.
Size. How much size do you have for your globe? Working on a compact desk? You may wish to opt for one of the smaller, tennis ball-sized options. If you’re in a lavish office and looking for an impressive office centerpiece, go for something more basket ball sized. Each model will tell you how big it is before you purchase.
Illumination. Do you want your globe to provide part of your lighting? Perhaps you just enjoy the design of an illuminated globe. There are many products out there which have a luminous glow, should that be the style you are going for. Of course, these have a much more modern feel than many of the antiquated designs out there.
Accuracy. Because there is a blurred line between the decorative item and functional item when it comes to globes, some are more accurate than others. Accuracy refers to the boundaries and political markings but also to how up-to-date the map is, as many countries have only become independent in recent years. Do you need something suitable for geographical user are you just in the market for something which looks cool?
There is plenty to ponder and we have included not just good quality globes on our list below, but also ones with their own unique features, as manufacturers look to take this old technology into the 21st century.
Best Desk Globes
Explorer World Desk Globe
We’re starting with a classic design. When you think of a desk globe this is probably the sort of design which springs into your head. The sort of design which can be found in offices and classrooms everywhere. What do we mean by classic?
The appropriately named Explorer has a 12” design, approximately the dimensions of a soccer ball. It is raised on a stand made of metal with a gold finish. In terms of the design, this globe offers everything you would expect. The map colors are done in the standard political style and the globe itself has over 4,000 places listed. Not only are countries listed but many major cities and states, for instance, the USA is split into states.
For a desktop, this is roughly the right size, it won’t take up all of your space but, at the same time, it’s big enough to see. It has latitude and longitude lines and the country borders are up-to-date meaning no old country boundaries! This is a problem with older maps which don’t account for geopolitical changes in recent years, as well as changing names of countries.
Rugged, well-built, well-reviewed, and accurate. This may have a ‘standard’ design but it does what many of us are looking for and is a great middle-of-the-road option for a desk globe.
The Mova 4.5” makes our list of top desk globes for a few reasons. For one, it offers a smaller alternative to the large 12- and 13-inch models, but this globe has far more hi-tech features which make it the perfect option for your desk. This is not just functional and decorative but it is a conversation starter too due to its unique features.
The Mova rotates! This ingenious design rotates on its axis just like the real world. The map cleverly uses solar energy, meaning it charges not only from natural light but also from any ambient light in your office. No drain on power and no annoying and unsightly wires coming out of it.
The globe comes on a very cleverly designed three-pronged stand, which does require assembly, but this is very simple to do and the instruction manual walks you through it with ease.
In terms of the geographical merits of this globe, in spite of being smaller than many of the other globes, it still has a classic topographical map which depicts all of the major land masses in blue and green—a truly classic design. There are arrows to show the flow of the ocean and also changes in altitude on the surface.
Although the sphere of the globe is 4.5 inches in diameter, once assembled, the whole thing is around seven inches tall. It is very compact and will fit on pretty much any desk imaginable!
As you can tell, this product is very impressive. The only real negative we can find is the price. This isn’t a cheap item but it certainly has a luxury feel about it. However, it makes a perfect gift for anyone who loves geography or astronomy or who loves traveling and the fact that it shows the rotation of the earth gives that ‘wow’ factor to your desk!
We love the MOVA technology so much we’ve recommended them twice! This is the second globe by the brand that is similar to the above-mentioned model in that it rotates using solar power as its source of energy. The only real difference is the design. This product has a ‘satellite view.’ This does render the product purely decorative as it no longer has any boundary lines or lists countries and cities; however, it does look impressive. The cloud cover and realistic satellite view are certainly bound to get people in your office talking and is soothing to look at on those stressful work days.
Many of the globe designs are similar to the True North, which is perhaps the best of the antique style globes out there.
This is a globe that is marketed mainly as an educational tool and while it does a good job of teaching—especially for children—it looks impressive. The design feels like it could be in an 1800s office and, if you have a classical style or a lot of wooden furniture in your office, then the True North will work perfectly.
In spite of having an antique design, the manufacturer hasn’t compromised accuracy. This is a 12-inch model so you can simply and easily navigate your way around it and read the country and city names. The globe is color-coded and even has a different color for the U.S States—great for learning all of the states and their capitals.
The build quality of this globe really stands out, it is a heavy globe made of iron and hardwood, which the manufacturers claim will survive even after it has been dropped. This means it isn’t the cheapest globe we’ve seen, but it isn’t the most expensive, either. If you are looking for something that will last a long time, look no further. It is clear that this is a sturdy yet functional globe and it looks fantastic, especially if you are after that older, parchment-style look.
If you are looking for the antique, brown design, but don’t want something with the full 12 inches, the KiaoTime could be the globe for you. This is an up-to-date map that has all the most modern countries (countries like Kosovo and South Sudan have only been recognized in recent years).
The 5-inch diameter refers to the globe itself, but when standing upright it is actually 8.5 inches in total. It is made of polystyrene but, in spite of that, it is pretty well made. The globe features latitude and longitude as well as all of the cities and countries you would expect to be listed.
This product also has an additional option for a black and metal design, which is really very different to pretty much any other design we’ve seen. It shows world time relative to Greenwich Meantime and it truly looks impressive.
Both of the designs of KiaoTime are very affordable but it doesn’t mean low quality. These are relatively sturdy in spite of the Polystyrene design, and certainly don’t look cheap and flimsy—they have a very classy finish and will fit well in pretty much any office.
If you’re looking for that wow factor, then this globe could well be the one for you! The Kabaddi design is anti-gravity, meaning that a system of electronic magnets allow it to levitate off its base. To call it eye-catching would be an understatement.
The globe is not just a novelty item and it accurately shows political boundaries as well as countries and capital cities. The globe has an LED light which can be switched on and off to your preference or in the evenings.
As if its features weren’t impressive enough, the night time function of this globalchange the design to depict zodiac display showing constellations and more! Incredible as a learning tool for kids, but also a brilliant way to catch the eye around the office.
The build quality is brilliant and the globe itself is six inches, though the base is significantly larger in order to provide everything it needs to hover above the surface. We’ve talked a lot about design options for globes in this article, and this is another product which gives you options, there is a standard option with light blue oceans, a navy blue design,and even a stunning gold design.
This is a globe which really utilizes technology and doesn’t break the bank either. If you just want something simple then it may not be your best choice, but if you want something to spark up a conversation around the office or provide some decoration in your home office, then the Kabaddi range of globes are guaranteed to do so.
You could be forgiven for thinking ‘a globe is a globe.’ Before you actually start to look into the options, it is hard to realize just how much can be done with this type of thing. The decorative element has been taken to extremes by some and while some of the products look like the kind of globe you’d expect to see in a school or office, some resemble something an evil movie villain might plan his attacks on!
Whichever style you prefer, and however much geographical accuracy you require, the choices above have you covered. A little thought about what you need from your globe, as well as whether it will be used geographically or just for décor will help you to make the correct decision on which is best for your office in 2018.